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Canola deliveries slow as Prairies’ harvest drags

MarketsFarm — The slow pace of the canola harvest across Western Canada is limiting farmer deliveries into the commercial elevator system, with a large backlog yet to come.

Farmers delivered 187,100 tonnes of canola into the commercial pipeline during the week ended Sunday (Sept. 15), according to the latest Canadian Grain Commission data.

That marked the lowest weekly total of the past year, and was well off the five-year average for the second week of September of about 440,000 tonnes.

Canola deliveries during September to October are typically the heaviest of the year, as new-crop canola comes off the combine and old-crop supplies are cleared out of bins.

Producers still had a record 2.6 million tonnes of old-crop canola on-farm as of July 31, according to Statistics Canada data. While the harvest has been delayed, StatsCan has estimated new-crop production at 19.4 million tonnes.

Visible canola supplies of 803,300 tonnes reported by the Canadian Grain Commission were the second lowest of the past year.

The canola harvest in Saskatchewan was only six per cent complete in the latest weekly provincial crop report. That compares with 2018 when 44 per cent of the canola was already off the fields by the middle of September.

Harvest operations are also running behind normal in Alberta and Manitoba.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

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